Prof Steven West
Director of Postgraduate Research in LSI
I studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate in Manchester. It was after this when I fell in love with research as a result of doing a PhD in Oxford with Prof Nick Proudfoot. Nick was an amazingly inspiring mentor who really showed me how exciting scientific research can and should be. I remained as a post-doc in his lab before starting my own lab in Edinburgh. After five years as a group leader in Edinburgh, I had a short stint in Sheffield before moving to the LSI in Exeter. Joining a brand-new interdisciplinary institute is a rare opportunity that I was delighted to get. Six years later, I am now Professor of RNA Biology.
As Director of Postgraduate Research (DPGR) in the LSI, I oversee the education of our PhD students. This included the design of our PhD programme, which was done in collaboration with other group leaders and our current PhD students. I feel passionate that an active, diverse and successful PhD student community is critical to a vibrant and thriving research institute. My most important role is to support every student to have a happy, enjoyable and successful PhD in our wonderful Institute. This includes establishing a PhD thesis committee for every student that will provide support throughout their study, alongside organising presentation events such as our PhD day and providing broader opportunities for soft-skill development and career planning. To get direct feedback I work hand-in-hand with LSI’s PhD student community to design the most effective training programme possible. As a result, we have created an amazing PhD programme that equips our students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in or outside of academic science.